BEING LEGALLY BAD ASS: STRANGE LANDS MOTORCYCLE CLUB - THE INTERVIEW

BEING LEGALLY BAD ASS: STRANGE LANDS MOTORCYCLE CLUB - THE INTERVIEW

27th November 2013 // By Carlos Bautista // Hipster Life
If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention… Introducing The Strangelands Motorcycle Club for the New Frontiers. It’s a motorcycle club, a street-wear brand, a civil liberties project and an exercise in design as protest. Meet Pat and Oscar, two of the six founders of the Strangelands Motorcycle Club. WC: So you’re starting motorcycle gang or what? Pat: Yeah. But it’s not what you think. Oscar: This is a motorcycle gang as civil liberties protest. You’ve heard of this anti-gang legislation or anti association laws, call them what you will; the government tells us it’s all about outlaw motorcycle clubs but the truth is that it affects us all. WC: But they’re targeting crime.

Oscar: No,they’re targeting you . It’s our freedom that’s threatened. As axiom goes, if you’re not angry,you’re not paying attention. Pat: It’s the same old story; our rights and freedoms get sacrificed for our security. Oscar: Yeah, it’s like what Benjamin Franklin said ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety’. Or something like that.

WC: So what’s the plan? Pat: First as a raised middle finger to anti association legislation we’re declaring ourselves a Motor Cycle Club. And we’re going to put our colours on as many people as we can, or at least as many that would wear our t-shirts. You can’t enforce anti-association laws if we’re all ‘associated’. And we’re doing this for real. We’ll run the things as a motorcycle club. For real. Let’s see what the authorities make of that. It’ll mess with their heads for sure to see skaters and club kids wearing our stuff. Oscar: Yeah, it’s going to hilarious. Are they going to bust skaters for being in a motorcycle club? Will they stop them from associating? It’s a joke. We get cool t-shirts, they get a law they can’t enforce. If you’re in Queensland or NSW, just buying our t-shirts makes you a bad ass in the eyes of the law. Pat: Badassery. For sure. But there’s more to this an just civil liberties, the streets are going to hell. Oscar: Yeah, you read about this shit all the time. Some random gets bashed by a drunk on the weekend. Some Indian kids get monstered on the train by inbred rednecks. Pat: Or some gay couple gets messed with on their way home from a club. The streets are being run by goons and thugs. All this shit just keeps going down. Pretty soon people stop going where they want when they want because they’re worried that nasty shit will go down. Oscar: It’s like you can’t do shit anymore without someone hassling you. Try skateboarding to work and count the dirty looks. Freedom to skate, what the hell happened to that? When did the world get so uptight about skateboards and lesbian couples and asylum seekers and stuff? Pat: Yeah that’s our roots, we ride motorcycles and we still skate, we’re skaters. It’s the freedom to skate. Oscar: It’s the freedom to be whoever you are and be left in peace. T-shirt as protest. It’s our way of saying that the streets are ours and that we go where we want, how we want, when we want with whoever we want. Pat: Hey, that’s our slogan,we’re using that as of now. WC: And the money, you were going to give away the Pozible money? Pat: No,we’re giving some of the money from each sale to community groups who make a stand against racism and discrimination. We’re sill figuring this out, but yeah, we’re going to do that. Oscar: The plan is this,you buy the t-shirt,you get membership to the club and members vote on where the money goes. WC: Your partners in this are a design agency? Pat: Kind of. Our partners are Stereo and Type. They’re a new design agency being set up by four Enmore TAFE graduates. They do very cool stuff. Oscar: Yeah totally, the look is important. The motorcycle club design aesthetic is brilliant, I reckon that colours and patches are an art form, seriously. We want to update the look but be true to both what colours mean and who we are. The Stereo and Type guys are all over this, they totally get it; the design is really tight, everything they do is well resolved. We’re also working with Bec Span and Sam Griffiths, they did our first round of designs. Pat: Yeah, these guys are cool. We gotta do this well, you have to show respect to tradition. WC: So this is fashion as civil disobedience and protest? Pat: Yeah, for sure, if you want to put us in a box, why not. I’m not sure if this is fashion, but the shirts are cool.and this thing we’re doing is for real. We don’t really care if you buy into the politics of of it. We know some people will be too scared to wear one. But, if you buy a shirt, you get a cool shirt and we get to make a point that needs making.

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